Though Taeyeon is still an idol performer by definition, her music has slowly transitioned to sounds I would expect from independent artists. While this has garnered her credibility in many circles, it’s not the type of thing I tend to gravitate to. It’s been over a year since a new Taeyeon release has really sparked my interest, and December’s penchant for slower, more sentimental fare doesn’t exactly bode well for What Do I Call You.
Last time Taeyeon graced us with a December comeback, it was in the form of a holiday-themed album. What Do I Call You is far less tethered to the season, grooving on an acoustic guitar driven beat that offers plenty of space for her vocals. The entire track is laidback, even as trap beats enter to provide percussion. Taeyeon does a nice job imbuing the melody with interesting twists and turns, though the song continually loops back to its titular hook.
I can see how this would be immensely appealing to fans of this style of track — or mega-fans of Taeyeon in general. For me, the whole thing feels a little throwaway. Despite some catchy chants during the finale, What Do I Call You doesn’t build to much. It feels like background music – something you can nod your head to without ever being pulled in deeper. But, I fully acknowledge my bias against mid-tempo tracks like these. Even Taeyeon’s always-incredible voice can’t quite overcome that barrier.